Ferrer flattens Roddick to reach Masters Cup final

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SHANGHAI, Nov 17 (Reuters) Spain's David Ferrer swept past a struggling Andy Roddick 6-1 6-3 to reach the final of the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup today.

Ferrer will face either Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final of the showcase eight-man event in Shanghai. The world's top two were playing in today's later semi-final.

Ferrer has been a revelation in his first Masters Cup appearance, sweeping to a 3-0 round-robin record to finish top of the Gold Group.

Cheered on by a raucous section of trumpet-blowing fans draped in Spanish flags, he was already leading 3-1 when Roddick appeared to jar his back stretching for a high volley.

The American, not helped by such a quick turnaround following his 6-4 6-2 thrashing by Federer the previous evening, called for the trainer at the change of ends.

A rubdown made no difference, however, as Ferrer quickly closed out the first set in just 28 minutes and he continued to pile on the agony for Roddick in the second.

Ferrer, the only man still unbeaten in Shanghai, was merciless, picking Roddick off from the baseline and making him chase drop shots, putting more strain on his back.

The Spaniard broke for 4-2 in the second with an incredible backhand pass that whistled past a dazed Roddick, who blew three break points in the next game in his final throw of the dice.

Ferrer squandered two match points -- the second a double-fault -- but sealed his place in the final when Roddick dumped a backhand in the net after just 72 minutes.

REUTERS SSC KN1712

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